Thu | Sep 16, 2021
Woman power

From high-school dropout to principal, author – Part 1

Published:Sunday | May 30, 2021 | 12:10 AMTamara Bailey - Sunday Gleaner writer

Hyacinth Gordon-Clarke speaks of her struggles and achievements.
Hyacinth Gordon-Clarke speaks of her struggles and achievements.

AS A child, her wish was always to excel at everything she engages in even when her back was against the wall and her feet wobbled in the rough terrain while on her journey.

It wasn’t about what people thought or said, but it was about her fighting spirit and support from her parents - who, though crippled by poverty, blessed her with the life lessons on which no price tag can be affixed.

Born and raised in the deep rural community of Watt Town, St Ann, Hyacinth Gordon-Clarke and her five siblings accepted their circumstances but lived boldly each day, knowing that their willpower was going to make the difference.

“My father was a peasant farmer and my mother a housewife. Thus the challenge of raising six children without an income was extremely arduous. It was hard for my parents to provide the simple tools for primary school, but going to church and school was not an option. It was a must. Even if it meant wearing your school uniform to Sunday School, home was not the place to stay on a Sunday. From an early age, it was inculcated in me that salvation and education make the difference in one’s life,” she said.

Satisfied, showered with love, good values and taught to have the right attitude, Gordon-Clarke worked hard to be successful in her Common Entrance Examinations and was able to secure her top choice - a place at the York Castle High School.

But her parents’ financial struggles put a temporary damper on her wheels of success.

“Unfortunately, due to my parents’ financial constraints, I became a dropout. My parents were unable to find me bus fare, lunch money, books, etc. However, that delay did not deter me from realising my dream of being the first poor, barefooted girl to attend Watt Town All-Age School, now primary and infant.”

There was an unquenchable fire in her belly to not allow the odds to dictate to her, and it was this fire that pushed her to bloom where she was planted, matriculating to tertiary institutions, being qualified for positions that were once rungs above her, and becoming a principal at her alma mater, among other accomplishments.

“…It was my ambition to become someone of prominence in this life. I focused on God Almighty along with the 4 Ps for success; purpose, passion, planning and persistence. If purpose is not understood, abuse is inevitable. I knew God Almighty was my manufacturer and wanted me to succeed. His plan for my life is to prosper me and give me a hope. I made the right choices, focused on good values, stick to positivity and persevere.”

Next week, we will share with you how Gordon-Clarke used her will to find her a way and moved on to accomplishing much more than she thought she could.